Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski was born on December 3, 1857 to members of the Polish gentry in a Russian occupied section of the country (Conrad 1 & Gorra 43). Before the should-be jubilant age of five, Conrad and his parents were exiled to an area north of Moscow. Each parent died of tuberculosis within four years of each other. Young Jozef, then twelve years old, was left to his uncle on his mother’s side. Jozef must have lived a relatively uneventful life with his uncle until 1874, when we finally catch up with him again. In this year, Jozef made a decision that really was no decision at all. Rather than serve in an army that was responsible for his current situation -and with an unexplainable yearning for the sea- Jozef left Cracow for France (Gorra 43). The future author wound up in Marseilles and began to learn the ways of an officer in the French Merchant Marine service. As with Jozef’s time with his uncle, at least four of his years spent in France are foggy (Gorra 44).
Perhaps the most important year to the future Conrad’s career was 1878. It was then that he first made a move toward England on a steamship and began learning the language in which he would later write (Gorra 44). Conrad found the transition to English very difficult. He felt that French words communicated their meaning more clearly and with more feeling than their English counterpart. His English knowledge was largely self-taught (Conrad 1). In ...
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...er, transformed Joseph Conrad into the writer we know today. In the words of his friend Edward Garnett, “Conrad’s Congo experiences were the turning-point in his mental life and their effects on him determined his transformation from a sailor to a writer” (“Conrad” 3).
We see that Conrad’s exposure in Africa translated almost event by event in Heart of Darkness. Marlow must travel to Brussels in order to begin his journey to Africa. Marlow met officials of the Company that he worked for once on the Dark Continent. Marlow experienced the scrapping of a ship. Marlow’s experience with the metaphysical sickness of Mr. Kurtz can be paralleled to Conrad and Harou. All of the psychological toil can be attributed to Conrad, because no other individual would have been able to relate that aspect to Conrad. In conclusion, Charlie Marlow is Joseph Conrad.
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